Tag Archives: Kukuri

Three Years After It’s Initial Release, Kukuri Gains Traction

Kukuri is an Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) film dealing with the issue of child marriages in the rural parts of Namibia featuring a largely inexperienced cast. The actors, except George Antonio (Salute!), were first-time performers and were sourced and trained on film location in the Kavango region.

This is probably why the film after its initial 2018 release is only picking up the interest of festivals and award shows this year. A screening (or release) of the film was hosted in Windhoek earlier this year and since then the film has been getting a lot of attention.

Kukuri has been nominated at the 7th Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA7) for Best Movie Southern Africa, selected to screen at the 2020 Garden Route International Film Festival (GRIFF) in South Africa and now most recently it was announced that the film will be screened at the Ananse Cinema International Film Festival in Ghana.

For a film shot in a community deep in a remote village, using the languages and starring its locals, Kukuri is doing pretty well. First-time performer Hanty Kashongo as the girl forced to grow up quick (Kukuri) gave an exceptional performance. Antonio, Nangana Mushavanga, Diyanni Longwani, Renah Xuesom and Mbango Munyima complemented the film well too.

George Antonio as ‘Chindo’ in Kukuri (Image: Provided)

Director and Producer of Kukuri, Philippe Talavera is profoundly proud of his film, saying if the message delivered in his film helps prevent one girl from getting married off at an early age, the film was worth it.

“Child marriage does not happen only in Namibia, but in several countries on the African continent. Kukuri is therefore relevant in South Africa, Ghana, and other countries too. The practice must end. We are in the 21st century so let us be in the 21st century and let some harmful cultural practices become things of the past,” Talavera says.

Kukuri Selected At Garden Route International Film Festival

Philippe Talavera’s Kukuri has been selected as part of the Garden Route International Film Festival (GRIFF) 2020 in South Africa. Kukuri was previously nominated as in the Best Film: Southern Africa category at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award 2020.

GRIFF is an independent International Film Festival offering quality films across a number of genres and offering pure entertainment for filmgoers. It is a permanent feature on the Knysna events calendar for visiting professionals, amateurs, local, national and international film enthusiasts and makers.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival converted to a two-part festival: Virtual Online Festival 21st September 2020 to 11th October 2020 and physical screenings in towns in the Garden Route as Drive In Cinemas to adhere to social distancing measures. Town visited are Calitzdorp George, Knysna, Ladismith, mosel Bay, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay, Riversdale and Sedgefield. The festival still aims at allowing networking, events and activities to maximise selected films exposure on a virtual platform.

Kukuri follows a young girl from the Kavango region who dreams of becoming a lawyer. Her dreams get shattered when her grand-mother starts plotting to get her married to the local brick-layer.

A wedding scene in ‘Kukuri’ (Image: provided)

The film, shot on location in the Kavango region, is in the local languages, with English subtitles. It stars George Antonio (Salute!) and a local cast led by Hanty Kashongo as Kukuri, Nangana Mushavanga, Diyanni Longwani, Renah Xuesom and Mbango Munyima.

It was produced and directed by Philippe Talavera, with Bernd Curshmann as director of photography, Kauna Hoabeb as sound, Nyandee Mbarandongo as first assistant director and rehearsals director and Una Hoebel as make up and special effects. Award winner Haiko Boldt did the editing and Pondi Dikuua produced the sound track.

Talavera said he is thrilled that his film which tackles the issue of child marriages will now be presented at this prestigious festival in neighboring South Africa.

“I hope Kukuri will keep giving hope to girls who find themselves trapped in such situations,” he says.